A diagnosis of arthritis can be intimidating. More than half a million New Zealanders are living with arthritis. It is a serious health condition with no known cure and the leading cause of disability in our country. The good news is that you can help yourself make living with arthritis easier.
Gout is a form of arthritis. The big toe is affected most but ankles, hands and knees also are involved. A gout attack usually comes on very quickly, often overnight, with extreme pain and swelling in the joint. The skin over the joint can become red and shiny. Without treatment, the pain usually goes away in about a week. Left untreated, however, over time attacks can become more frequent and more severe.
Heartburn, reflux and dyspepsia refer to stomach pain or discomfort after eating. When we eat, the food goes down the oesophagus into the stomach, passing through a valve to keep it there to be digested. If the valve becomes slack, stomach contents can travel back into the oesophagus, causing a burning feeling in the chest and acidic taste in the mouth ...
We currently have paracetamol, ibuprofen, combinations of these with codeine and other anti-inflammatories available in pharmacy for acute pain. Due to changes worldwide in the classification of codeine and the increase in people dependent on it, the Medicine Classification Committee has called for codeine combination products to only be available on prescription from January 2020.